Thank you, 2016


Until this very moment, I am still unsure whether to write a 2016 recap. It has its own ups and downs. Perhaps what I am trying to accomplish is to one day, read about what happened this year and feel the nostalgia that although 2016 was where a lot of wrong things happened, it has also been the year for me to get some things right. I have made a lot of mistakes for 2016, but it was one of the factors for maturity.

I greeted 2016 with a bottle of wine. I never finished it, though. The planner beside it was never used. I tend to do things before realizing that 'oh, I need to do that.' I made lists, but I found that a digital list for my personal stuff works well with me. At work, I still make lists after lists and since it's more serious stuff, writing it on paper works better.

Here's a photo taken the first week of January where I looked exhausted. No make-up or anything, just huge eye bags. I still have those eye bags, though. They never left me. A year later, I now have a few different lipstick shades to match my mood, own a few legit bags and different pairs of shoes. I know people needs to be less attach to material things, but what I am trying to say is, these things help with the self-esteem, to be able to reflect my personality. I am an artist and so I want to start with myself. When I look in order, I feel that I can take charge of my life any way I can.

2016 was also the year where I kept on writing. I finished my novel, "Sakit ng Kahapon". It is a 34,000-word Filipino romance novel. It took me years to finish. It has 92,000 reads on Wattpad but unfortunately, the paperback version didn't sell much because it's expensive compared to the local romance novel available in the market. The important thing as a writer is that it's being read. :)

Meanwhile, my first English fantasy novella entitled "31st" has made it into different areas of Manila such as The Craft Central. I am still working on this series. The part two was published just this month entitled, "Back in Santa Barbara". 

There was also an anthology I have worked on along with several talented authors, entitled "Disminoriya", focusing on Women's stories. We had a memorable book launch last March, a lot of people came to a night full of stories and poetry. I am proud of what happened that day. The next day, however, was when I got a fever and struggled to go visit the museum with my sister in law. 

"Rendezvous", was another attempt to write an English novella focusing on young adult fiction. It has been included in #Project TIMES where I also collaborated with another set of Filipino authors. I met Ms. Marigold Uy who I have partnered for 8Letters - a boutique bookstore which promotes and sells Philippine indie books. It's a start-up company we're still building. We got bigger goals for 2017, so we'll see how it goes.

Then I wrote the first sixteen chapters of The Aswang Virus. It's an ongoing novel which I hope to finish by the year 2017. The reason why I started writing it, was that a friend wanted to make a computer game out of my stories.

Another project I have worked on was ProjectFlashPiction which aimed to write every day based on pictures. I have not completed a whole month of writing, but I learned a lot as I try to rack my brain to come up with something. It was torture, but fun!

This year, I started my Youtube channel. I only reached 10 subscribers, but hey, it's something! Isn't it promising? The hubby has been very supportive! He wanted to start his own Youtube channel, but he's kind of shy to face the camera so never worked. I got a thick face, so I managed to upload five videos. I talked about books, writing and surviving the weekdays.

Travel wise, one of the highlights was taking the cruise along the Rhine River. The route covers Switzerland, Germany, France and Netherland. It was with the Uniworld river cruise, and it was fascinating! Socializing every night though is so out of my comfort zone. I sure ate a lot as well!

I went to Chiang Mai too, where I witnessed a colleague's accident. It was kind of traumatic because there were a lot of blood. But hey, I managed to go with them to the hospital. And then spa in the afternoon. So yes, they ended fine as if bumping into the barbed wire with a quad bike was nothing.

Another awesome trip was with ate Carla to Edinburgh, London, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris. It was pure bliss, carrying our heavy bags and almost getting robbed. We saw Matilda, the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, the Sagrada Familia and the Stonehenge. We experienced The Fringe festival, ate a lot of paella and escargots and attended a book festival. We met a lot of awesome people along the way.

For my birthday, the whole gang went to Kuala Lumpur. My sister in law, Liezl and her friend, Princess went to Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately, our flight got delayed for a day because of the typhoon, but it all worked out in the end. We rented this Airbnb in the city, huge enough for all of us.

Cheers for being 27! 

I also tried getting myself an education. I continued my course at the Hong Kong University and attended events during the Hong Kong Literary Festival. I had a professional rate a short story I wrote entitled, "Headache". I admit that I spent a lot of hours sitting in front of the computer. The hubby and I even had a huge fight over who would wash the dishes. I insisted that I need to study. He ended up doing the chores telling me that I better get a high score. One day, I took home my test paper, and believe it or not, I got the highest score for an exam! The hubby was so proud.

I started exercising too. I hiked twice this year, ran the oval near my home around five times and ordered meals from Cadobox which are only around 500 kilocal. Yes, this is the area where I never succeeded.

The most important thing is having my family intact. We've got our struggles during the year, but at least, the last time I checked, we went through 2016 all fine. There were quarrels, jealousy, frustrations and financial problems. A lot of tears shed over responsibilities and love, but those things make us stronger as a family.

If you read through the whole post above, you may think that I've got it all worked out, right? It's not true. I don't always get what I want. Underneath all these, are hard work and sacrifices. I never had it easy. I've got my regrets and like what I have said, mistakes! A lot of them! I have lost a lot of friends too. But I would say that 2016 is a year of courage. This has been the year where I stick to my truer self, and where I shamelessly voiced out my concerns may it be politically or any relevant topics out there to be discussed.

Who knows what 2017 can bring. But if you ask me? Yes, I'm ready for another roller coaster ride. :)

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